Disability Law, Drugs, Education / Schools, Health Care / Medicine, Law Schools, Reader Polls

ATL Wellness Survey: Haven’t We All Had a Little Adderall?

When I was in school, Ritalin was the performance-enhancing drug of choice. You could smash it up and snort it and do amazing feats like read an entire Emanuel’s Outline on mergers and acquisitions in a single sitting. Or you could write a whole law review note without getting bored. Or you could repaint your room, or reupholster your desk chair, or… oh s**t the paper is due in an hour and I have NOTHING.

Adderall, as I understand it, is the same, but better. It’s easy to get your hands on — all you have to do is fake the ADHD exam and you have your very own prescription for an amphetamine for law school and beyond. Or you can bum one off of a friend as finals stress approaches.

Haven’t you done that? Come on, be honest….

Adderall isn’t the only benefit of faking your way into an ADHD diagnosis. You can also get extra time on your exam if you are diagnosed. Getting adult-onset ADHD is a boon for law students.

ADHD is thought to affect 15% of the population. A 2L at a top 50 law school apparently just noticed that a large percentage of those people end up in a highly competitive law school environment. I’m not going to name the school because the reader’s experiences will ring true for students at many top law schools:

Here at [Law School], if you are prescribed to Adderall you simply go to the Office of Student Disability and fill out a form and boom you get time and half on all your exams (50% more time on the same curve). In my opinion, it is a pretty generally abused system here. I know more than a handful of kids who have “caught ADD” since they have arrived in school. I would go as far to suggest that 5-10% of our students are taking exams with 50% more time given to them. I recently met with a Law School administrator to express my concern about it and he basically told me that he didn’t think it was a problem and that there was nothing the school could do while vaguely citing reference to Americans with Disabilities Act. I was wondering if this is the norm at other schools.

It truly is amazing how many people can be successful in college and on the LSAT only to find out about this disability when they get to law school.

Look, there is little that law schools can do to prevent Adderall abuse or disability fraud. Kids who are getting extra time for their exams have notes from their doctors. It’s not PC to question a doctor’s diagnosis of a disability. If doctors are going to write prescriptions for everybody who does a Google search, there’s little a law school can do to prevent people from taking advantage of the system.

But legal educators don’t have to ignore it. The administrator our tipster spoke to seems far too common. Maybe law schools can’t fix the problem, but Adderall abuse is a problem that law schools should be aware of.

Especially during finals period. That’s the time when the pressure to compete can push students into doing whatever it takes to get an edge — or just keep up with classmates who have been taking prescription focus pills all semester.

For law schools, the first step to fixing the problem is admitting they have a problem.

Have you tried it? Just once? Just to see if it helps? What we say here, stays here anonymous.

Have you tried Adderall?

  • No. (70%, 1,082 Votes)
  • Yes. (30%, 473 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,540

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